The hardest thing about being a young entrepreneur is having the finances to achieve your vision. Advertising is something that comes in many different shapes and forms, which is something we all need to remember because although so many companies look at the big tools and feel they need to dig deep into a comprehensive marketing campaign, such as pay-per-click.
The reality is that as long as you have an understanding of who you are trying to target and how you can get to them, you don’t necessarily need a vast array of tools or a marketing agency. This is so important for small companies who are looking to cut pennies while still maintaining the integrity of their business. Marketing your business with little to no money may seem difficult, but here are some time-honored tactics.
Using the Physical World
Marketing yourself is not just about the online realm, but about going into the real world too. The most important marketing tool is not social media or getting to the top of Google, but word of mouth. We’ll talk more about how you can increase word of mouth by simply being honest and trustworthy, but the physical world is something so many of us underestimate. If you are running a local business you are going to rely on local custom. You don’t necessarily need to be advertising yourself with a major website. The fact is that small tools can make a big difference.
Posters can easily stand out because everyone is online, but you can also stand out in other ways, even while you are on the road. Getting customizable car stickers and sticking them to your car means that you are immediately showcasing your business, but because cars don’t tend to have branded stickers on them, you are sticking out like a sore thumb which is exactly what you need!
The physical world is something that we all underestimate. When you start to do things that are promoting your business in the real world, you are going to stand out much more. This is why something like a letter can do so much to cut through the noise. When you are sending an item through the post, this can make your business stand out because you’re not going via social media or email. We should never underestimate what the real world can do for us in terms of marketing.
A lot of the great marketing tools have been around for a long time. Email marketing and newsletters are the perfect way for you to keep in touch with customers. You have a direct line to them because you can send them advertisements, messages, and information about your products.
The great thing about email marketing is that you can create personalized messages that don’t cost the earth. You can easily set up a few email templates and you can use a free email marketing platform and you are going to easily craft a marketing campaign. Of course, the trick is to get those email addresses in the first place. This is where call-to-actions are so important, but also ensuring that you are creating good quality content on your website.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
SEO is a lot of work, but it is cheap and can do a lot to boost your rankings. Because people will only look at the first page of the results on Google, you need to utilize search engine optimization through basic practices that cost nothing. Creating useful content, utilizing the right keywords, optimizing content, creating a Google My Business profile, and building backlinks are just a few things that you can do that cost nothing but will immediately boost your rankings.
SEO is not something that you can come round to later; it should be a priority because so many people are using SEO techniques to ensure that their business is trumping yours. A lot of people argue about the efficacy of SEO, but when you look at Google’s rules for SEO, you will realize that it’s something that everybody needs to do, and the small modifications are very the way you start to speak Google’s language.
Deliver a Great Service
People talk about marketing tactics in terms that require operating with a very cloak and dagger approach. The best marketing tactic out there costs nothing, but it has to be thoroughly embedded in your business. Delivering great service, being transparent, honest, and delivering what you promise may seem like a hard thing to get right, but this is why we all need to go into business with the goal of delivering the right service to the right people.
When we start to give customers the right service, this generates positive word and mouth. When you get a good referral from a customer because somebody recommends you to their friends, this is going to snowball. Additionally, if you have delivered a great service, asking them to review you is such a simple thing that everybody does, but the fact is while there is an abundance of fake reviews out there, these are being clamped down on. What makes you stand out is when a customer sends a review that brings about those little details, for example, your name, the type of service you delivered, and how you solved each aspect of their problem. You can incorporate these reviews on social media and on your website.
The fact is that when a customer vouches for your credibility, you need to embrace this wholeheartedly. Additionally, there will be times when people bring about negative reviews, but even these types of reviews can bring about a positive benefit because it gives you insight into what you can do better, especially if you engage with those customers via social media or get in contact with them to turn their experience around. There is an etiquette to dealing with online reviews that can make a big difference, and when you start to deliver this great service, while also understanding how you can deal with customers and their pain points, you can create a transparent and, ultimately, human approach to delivering service.
Generating the Right Word of Mouth
Word of mouth encompasses networking and building relationships that can boost your business. There are a number of ways to do this including the following:
- Use social media appropriately.
- Attending local business events.
- Start and maintain a Linkedin presence.
- Join local events.
The importance of having a presence is something that we all know about, but it’s important to not spread yourself too thin. The right online presence involves going on the right platform so you are getting noticed by the right people.
It is free to create but can be hard to implement. Content marketing is very closely tied to email marketing, social media, and SEO. But when you start to create a unique voice, you are going to have people remember you much more. You can start by creating content for your website or on social media channels.
The trick is in putting across your unique voice so you can win customers. There’s a wide variety of things you can create, including the following:
- How-to posts.
We have to remember that promotion is not necessarily about accessing things that are costly. Lots of people think about having to pay a certain amount of money in order to gain access to some exclusive club that will automatically open your business to a larger audience. The reality is that when people have small businesses, an open and honest approach is effective, but it’s also important to remember that a lot of the techniques that are used by big marketing agencies are things that are cheap or cost next to nothing.